Critical process died in Windows 10: 8 ways to fix it

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
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  • The Critical process died issue is basically caused when a critical component of Windows detects that data has been modified when it should not have been.
  • The first steps in the direction of solving this problem are to run an SFC scan and then a full antivirus scan.
  • For any other BSoD issues, don't hesitate to bookmark our Troubleshooting BSoD errors section.
  • We've prepared the Windows 10 Errors Hub with plenty of solutions for you.
how to fix Critical process died in Windows 10

BSOD errors are some of the most annoying errors in Windows. Various factors can trigger BSOD errors, including hardware and software issues.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the BSOD issues caused by the Critical process died error in Windows 10.

So, if you’re facing this issue, follow the troubleshooting steps listed in this article to fix the problem.

The Critical process died issue is basically caused when a critical component of Windows detects that data has been modified when it should not have been.

This element could be a bad driver, a memory error, etc. Most of the times, this error occurs all of a sudden when users are working on their PCs.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to fix this issue.

There are many instances where this error may occur. This troubleshooting guide will show you how to fix this annoying issue in the following instances:

  • Critical Process Died after update
    • This error occurs shortly after users installed the latest Windows updates on their PCs or upgraded their OS.

I own a Lenovo S-510p laptop. I recently tried upgrading to Windows 10. I am currently using the Windows 8.1 – 64 Bit.
The Download finished fully and installation started, but at around 55% of installation, the system crashed due to a Critical Process Died Error.

  • Critical Process Died after sleep
    • Sometimes,  this error occurs when users wake their PCs from sleep. Instead of being able to resume work, they can’t actually use their devices.

Every time I wake up my computer, I get a BSOD saying that a CRITICAL PROCESS DIED

  • Critical Process Died after login
    • Some users may be able to type their username and password in order to login, but after  30 seconds, the screen goes blue and this error code appears.
  • Critical Process Died after installing the Creators Update
    • This error did not affect many users when they upgraded to the Anniversary Update. On the other hand, thousands of users encountered this problem after upgrading to the Creators Update.
  • Critical Process Died while gaming
    • If you’re a gamer, you must be familiar with this error. It affects gamers quite frequently.

Been running my comp that I bought and seem to get an issue during gaming. The screen goes blue and comes up with the error of CRITICAL PROCESS DIED. It happens when I am gaming only and never at any other time.

  • Critical Process Died Windows 10 loop
    • This error may sometimes trigger reboot loops, preventing users from actually using their PCs.

Issue: 60 min loop. everything runs fine but I get the CRITICAL PROCESS DIED message on a blue screen and the system reboots. always 60 mins after the previous reboot.

  • Critical Process Died Unexpected Store Exception
    • The Unexpected Store Exception error occurs quite rarely, but nevertheless it’s a severe issue, as this user reports:

BSOD unexpected store exception – critical process died
Hi,  i’ve got 2 BSOD errors since i upgraded to 10. Before that my notebook was fine without a crash. I can’t work and is extremely frustrating to use it.

  • Critical Process Died after overclock
    • If you decide to overclock your PC to enhance gaming performance, you should also know that this change may triggered BDoD issues.
  • Critical Process Died on startup
    • Users report that this problem may also occur the very moment they boot up their computer. A few seconds after they press the power button, the error code appears on the screen. This usually happens before the log in box appears.
  • Critical Process Died Surface Pro 4
    • This error affects Surface devices as well. However, judging by user reports, it appears that it’s prevalent for Surface Pro 4 devices.
  • Critical Process Died Server 2012 r2
    • If you recently got this error message on Windows Server 2012 R2, you’re not the only. Here’s how one user describes this issue:

I am running Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (Server Core) on three servers. […] A few weeks ago one of the systems seemed to be rebooting regularly. After connecting a monitor I saw a BSOD with a message Critical Process Died. I’m not 100% certain of this, but these BSOD reboot problems seemed to have started shortly after getting a recent automatic update(s)?

  • Critical Process Died Asus, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell
    • this error affects all devices, irrespective of manufacturer. However, it appears that it occurs quite rarely on HP computers.

We hope that the following troubleshooting steps will prove useful in most of the cases listed above if not all.


How can I fix the Critical process died error in Windows 10?

1. Run an SFC scan

Running an SFC scan is one of the most cliché solutions for Windows-related problems, but unfortunately, it doesn’t always get the job done.

However, in this case, it may actually be helpful if fixing Critical process died error. To run SFC scan, do the following:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button, and choose Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. Enter the following line, and press enter: sfc/scannowsfc scan critical process died windows 10
  3. Wait for the process to finish (it will take a few minutes)
  4. Restart your computer.

See if the Critical process died error still causes BSODs. If not, you’re good to go. If BSODs still occur, try some of the following solutions.


Learn to use the System File Checker like an expert with our comprehensive guide!


2. Run a full system antivirus scan

Malicious software can also change your system files. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a dangerous virus, even spyware or adware can damage your system files.

You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.

Here’s how to run a full system scan on Windows 10 Creators Update:

  1. Go to Start > type defender > select Windows Defender
  2. In the left-hand pane, select the Shield iconwindows defender security center Critical Process Died fix
  3. In the new window, click the Advanced scan optionadvanced scan Critical Process Died fix
  4. Check the Full scan option to launch a full system malware scan.fix Critical Process Died full scan windows defender

Alternatively, we strongly suggest you check out some of the best antivirus software for your Windows PC and install them on your computer.

Some third-party antivirus programs such as Panda, BullGuard, BitDefender, Malwarebytes, are ideal for virus removal.


3. Uninstall the latest updates

Some users found out that the latest Windows 10 updates actually cause the Critical Process Died error, and to fix it, you just need to remove the problematic update.

Here’s how to uninstall Windows updates:

  1. Go to Settings > navigate to Windows Update > select the Update history buttonCritical Process Died update history
  2. Go to Uninstall Updatesuninistall updates Critical Process Died blue sreen error
  3. Select the update(s) that you want to uninstall > click Uninstall

Critical Process Died uninstall updates

Cumulative updates consist of all previously released updates.

When Microsoft releases a new cumulative update and you download it, you’ll also receive an update you had to uninstall because it caused BSODs.


4. Download the latest driver updates

tweakbit dirver updater Critical Process Died error

Bad drivers, or drivers that wrongly use memory could also cause the Critical process died Windows 10 error.

Head to Device Manager, and make sure that absolutely all drivers are up to date, and compatible with Windows 10.

Important driver updates, like graphics card or sound card drivers, are also delivered through Windows Update.

All your drivers need to be updated, but doing it manually is very annoying, so we suggest to do it automatically.

An automated updating tool will help you to avoid permanent damage to your PC caused by downloading and installing the wrong driver versions.

We strongly recommend TweakBit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton) to automatically download all the outdated drivers on your PC.

Disclaimer: some features of this tool are not free.


Learn to update your drivers like an expert with our complete guide!


5. Clean boot your computer

A clean boot starts Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs making it perfect for troubleshooting.

Here’s how to clean boot your Windows 10 computer:

  1. Type System Configuration in the search box > hit Enter
  2. On the Services tab >  select the Hide all Microsoft services check box > click Disable all.
    hide microsoft services system configuration Critical Process Died
  3. On the Startup tab > click on Open Task Manager.
  4. On the Startup tab in Task Manager > select all items > click Disable.
    disable start up items windows 10 Critical Process Died
  5. Close the Task Manager.
  6. On the Startup tab of the System Configuration dialog box >click OK > restart your computer.

6. Check your disk for errors

Sometimes you can fix Critical Process Died simply by running a chkdsk scan from Command Prompt. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command followed by Enter. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.
    chkdsk command prompt fix Critical Process Died
  2. As a quick reminder, if you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that the file needs to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors.The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well.

command prompt chkdsk fix Critical Process Died


This simple guide will show you everything you need to know about Command Prompt!


7. Run DISM to fix Windows 10’s system image

  1. Open Command Prompt as an Administrator
  2. Type the following command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth DISM command prompt Critical Process Died pc error
  3. Hit Enter to run the command.
  4. Wait for it to perform the scan. The process can take up to 10 minutes to complete, sometimes even longer.
  5. After the DISM scan is completed, restart your computer.

In addition, you can try the following method as well.

  1. Mount your Windows 10 .iso file by double clicking it.
  2. Open Command Prompt or PowerShell as administrator.
  3. Check for system health by running these commands:
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /checkhealth
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  4. Run this command: DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1/LimitAccess

Replace X with the drive letter where your Windows 10 ISO is mounted.


8. Run System Restore

If the Critical Process Died error started appearing recently, use System Restore option to restore the previous configuration.

If that doesn’t work, you can always reset your system by doing the following:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > click on Recovery under the left pane.
  2. Click on Get Started under Reset this PC > choose to Keep my files.reset this PC Critical Process Died problem
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the reset.

We hope that this article helped you to fix the Critical process died BSoD error.

Use the comment section below to let us know which solution worked for you.


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in September 2017 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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  • It’s fantastic that many of the solutions to fix a computer not booting up is to boot up your computer into Windows. Seriously?

  • For anyone whos’ computer doesn’t boot after the BSOD – a CMOS clean up is the only option that helped me get my PC back.

    Unfortunately I’ve been having it on each shutdown or reboot so I have to retry that every time so far. Tried all the options and done a cleaup with MalwareBytes, let’s see if anything changed…

  • how to do all these check and changes if system (win10) does not startup because tbis CPD error?
    critical process died CPD

    I got this (for 2 times on 3 month) after a regular Windows 10 update

  • Uing Windows 7 or better yet a linux distro, is not a downgrade. Once I pull my files off this Windows in done forever. They have turned their OS into the dreaded telescreen in 1984 and nothing by that company is welcome in my home.

  • I have used this reimageplus now several times but I still keep getting this blue screen error problem …
    PLEASE can anyone offer a perm ,,,,,,, as it is driving me insane

  • Lol i’m not gullible enough to use this crappy software, i tend to work things out on my own without having to download and install malware/adware/spyware utils that could potentially wreck my PC.

    P.S if you’ve updated to windows 10 creators edition, this is a common problem and sfc can sometimes find errors that can’t be fixed. If you are running creators, just download the creator windows upgrade media tool, and install windows over the top ( keep files and apps ), or format and put your old windows back on ) Don’t buy into this garbage lol

  • How are people suppose to implement most of these fixes when all they are getting is a blue screen? The “fixes” I can get via the blue screens are not working. I can’t even get into safe mode through them.

  • I feel ya, I’ve been trying to get my laptop running since ‘critical process died’ suddenly appeared and now laptop goes south, won’t boot, but oh, I can get to command prompt, fat lot of good that did, but the worse thing about this is the directions to ‘merely go to your antivirus and run it’…IF I COULD GET TO IT I WOULD BUT AT THIS TIME IT JUST AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN…I did take my sister’s computer to shop other day, they had to reinstall windows 10 on it and the guy said “Yep, ever since the upgrade we’ve had to re do them all”…great! 🙁

  • What part of endless loop do you people not understand – when the system will not boot, even in safe mode, it’s pretty tough to boot it up and run any program at all. Kind of like a post that says, “My car won’t start” and getting an offered solution of, “Drive your car to an auto mechanic.” All – the two best solutions offered here are to boot from external media (boot disk or USB) and if you cannot do that, take it to Best Buy or other reputable repair facility.

  • The Reimage software is one of the best buys I’ve made. It really helps. Got the “critical process died” screen…but somehow was able to boot up the computer, get online and run Reimage. I’m confident they’re fixing the issue. If they jack up the price to twice what it is, I’m payin’ it!

    • Get Ubuntu. A live disc/usb drive and use it to dual boot. Then fix windows. By replacing it with Linux. Bam fixed. And your software is now free.

  • So in order to repair a BSOD that prevents us from booting into the OS we have to boot into the OS? Thanks for clearing that up

  • The critical process error blue screen closes and another blue screen pops up with choose you keyboard layout. At that point the keyboard or the mouse will not work. You can’t get out of this screen without cycling power to reboot. Keyboard is ok tried another.?????

  • Disappointed that the ‘recommended by us’ advice to run reimage repair …. wasted a lot of my time.
    Having run at the very end when you click repair it asks you to buy a license.
    Your really should include that fact in your endorsement of this product – I would then not have wasted my time.
    I appreciate some may want to buy a license … but come on guy be more open & honest – tell us up front. It does not say anything about it being a free scan only.

    This is your text … no mention of scan only !!!
    >>>
    For PC problems, we recommend ReimagePlus.

    This
    tool will repair most computer errors, protect you from file loss,
    malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance.
    Quickly fix PC issues and prevent others from happening with this
    software:

    Download ReimagePlus (100% safe download and endorsed by us).

    Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.

    Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

    • I understand your frustration. In a ideal environment, we wouldn’t have to do this, but revenue from regular display ads has gone down a lot. We don’t mention it’s free, either. Will mention that it requires upgrade from now on. Sorry for your bad experience, I understand you…

    • It’s also just an ad. The actual text of that part of the page’s section starts with, ‘SFC Scanner is one of the most…’ It’s a trick to get most unsuspecting people to follow it.

  • the blue screan wont let me get on the internet to do the download. i downloaded on friends computer copied and attached flash to my computer but the usb drive option will not run it keeps me going in circles i cant get out of the blue screan to do any of these help tools i got into system admin and did the scan after it is 100% it tells me that it could not acomplish task what do i do to go back to my regular screan. i dont care if there is a viris i want to copy my things to an external and wipe the computer….